This picture was taken, right before we left the hospital to come home. Even through it all, we smiled
The next few days were a blur, all I can remember was being in pain. I had an IV in both hands, one in my neck, a chest tube, oxygen…and of course my new incision into my sternum, which separated my ribs, and provided access to my heart. Needless to say, I was a mess. The only upside to this whole experience was that I was fortunate enough to have my family around me. Before I went into the hospital, my mom told me that “we go in together, we leave together”- she wasn’t going to leave until I left, and she kept her promise. My mom was by my side for the four following days. She fed me ice chips, she got me nurses, she held my hand as I slowly walked through the hospital halls at all hours of the night, and she slept right by me, and she kept her promise.
On October 18th, four days post surgery,
we walked out of the hospital together.
My hospital stay, in addition to the two and half weeks at home directly after, were the worst three weeks of my life. I will never forget what those three weeks were like because they gave me additional perspective on my life. I learned that sometimes, life is hard and that it takes conscious strength to get through it. Daily routine activities, took all of my strength from me. I was in a battle, but I was sure as hell not going to lose it. I fought. I fought everyday to not only get through it, but to get through it with gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. It really wasn’t. Not only was I hurting because emotionally I had so much going on, but physically it was torture. There were many nights where I was pacing my house in pain not knowing what to do with myself. Even with pain killers, I was in a ton of pain. I woke up in pain, I went through the day in pain, and I slept sleeping up in pain. I slept sitting straight up for two and a half weeks, with my mom by my side. You would think since I had to sleep on a couch, that after what my mom had just been through with me in the hospital, that she would want to jump right into bed and get a good night sleep….instead, she slept on the couch with me. My incredible mother took off of work for me, and was there to help me around the clock. She helped me shower, she helped me do my hair, she cooked for me, she walked with me, and she reminded me every single day to be grateful. (Not that I needed reminding, but hearing moms words is always soothing.)
I have learned a lot from my experience (which I will share)- but the one thing I would like to mention now, is that while I was going through those three weeks…I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was dark, painful and I was tired. What got me through it was finding one thing a day to be grateful for, and that’s what I concentrated on. I knew that no matter how bad today was, I was going to feel a little bit better tomorrow.
I learned that even our darkest of times,
cannot stay dark forever,
as long as we let the light in.
>>>> I need to dedicate this post, my recovery, and my life, to my mom Joy. You have always been there for me, but this time you truly outdid yourself. You say its amazing that I was out of the hospital in four days, but I was only out there so quickly because of you. I will never forget those four days, to always look over and see you by my side. For our late night walks around the cardiac floor as I held onto you, for all of the ice chips you fed me, and for all of the love you have given me through this surgery and always. I am so appreciative for everything you did, I know it wasn’t easy, but I could not have gotten through it without you. I love you so much. Thank you for keeping your promise to me <3
My purpose in writing this post, was to hopefully remind people who are going through tough experiences in life, that as mom would say “this too shall pass.” I was so caught up in my pain, in my depression, in my uncomfortableness (I know I know, its not a word)- that it was hard for me to see anything else. My eyes were foggy. Regardless how miserable I was….and trust me, I was miserable (just ask my family)…I had to find even the smallest amount of positivity to get me through that minute, that hour, that day, and that week. You can’t always focus on the end result, and anyone who has been through a tough situation knows that. What you CAN focus on, is creating something to be grateful for in that minute. It can be anything. If you focus on the negative, the pain, the depression…it only brings more depression and you will be standing in your own way. You have to find something to believe in, something to carry you through. Even the smallest amount of gratitude each day, will find a way to get you to the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but what I can tell you from my own experience is that it does work.
Think of gratitude…as your own personal magic.
You don’t need to understand it, you just need to believe in it.